“Come up and see our Festival of the Nativities. You would love it.” Sariah invited.
Every year, the first weekend in December, their stake (group of wards - similar to a diocese?) puts on a Festival of Nativities. Hundreds of nativities on beautiful display; a Joseph’s workshop where kids can make a craft or color; a “Little Town of Bethelehem” a cleverly decorated room, including starry sky, with hands on nativities and puzzles, dress up and life size manger scene where children of all ages can “be there” or have their picture taken; musical performances by community groups; and, on Saturday, a live Nativity. This was the 8th annual and it is growing every year. It has gotten so big, that the wards (congregations) that normally meet in that building are kicked out for the weekend and meet with other wards.
What a good excuse for a visit! And how sweet that the Rosers actually wanted us
to visit them within days of them visiting all of us down in Sacramento! Acadia gave up her room and slept on the floor in Rori’s room. I know the girls sometimes like to have “sister sleepovers,” but it was still very nice of her. They even let Anna come. Not only that, but when we got ready to leave Monday, Sariah said that Anna could come again – despite her barking at and threatening their friend and my siblings who came to visit while we were there. She even barked at Ryan a couple of times. Other than that and wagging her deadly tail, which is at an unfortunate height and strength for toddlers, she was pretty good.
We had a lovely time. Visiting, hanging loose, playing Wii, enjoying the Nativities, eating Sariah’s good cooking. Not worrying (much) about all the things we have to do at home.
We enjoyed the journey, too.
Three young men, a big black dog and me in a little Chevy Cavalier. You wouldn't think it would be a very pleasant road trip, but it was. Ben sat in the back seat in the middle with Anna next to the window. She laid her head on his lap and and he used her for a drawing desk or a pillow. He made sure we knew when she needed a pit stop. What surprised me was Andrew and I didn't spend hours singing. I think Andrew was trying to be nice to Benjamin.
On the way home, somewhere near Roseburg, OR, all southbound traffic was stopped for miles. We were held up for 2 hours. I was grateful that nobody had been eagerly anticipating the next rest station! We played Uno, Joseph read aloud from Hackers and Painters (or is it Painters and Hackers?), Andrew passed notes with highschoolers in a bus in the next lane until the bus driver told him to stop (why??). Whenever I get stuck in traffic like that I am thankful that I am merely inconvenienced, and not part of the cause. A little prayer of thanks for our safety, for emergency responders, and for blessings on those involved.
We decided that we really enjoy the first half of the trip a lot, but after that it gets a bit long. And there are so many places we would like to stop and see! We would love to take 2 or 3 days driving up and/ or back, but who knows if that will ever happen? We never have too much visiting time, either.
I am learning that sometimes it is good to do the things you want to do, to take time to enjoy, even though I “don’t have time” and have too much to do. We enjoyed and were refreshed by this little visit. Thank you, Sariah! (and Ryan, and Acadia, and Aurora, and even Simon)
But, I really do need to get on the stick! I have gifts for my out – of – town children and in-town girls, but not my guys at home! Nor have I made, let alone addressed my Christmas cards. And don’t talk to me about meaningful personal messages!